Blow for Halifax as organisers cancel the 2022 Tour de Yorkshire
Halifax will miss out on hosting the Tour de Yorkshire in 2022 as organisers have cancelled next year's event due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following lengthy discussions between race organisers, Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) over many months, it is with regret, that by mutual consent, the popular cycling race will not be going ahead in 2022.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with escalating financial challenges and uncertainties, have led to an agreed position that the event would be unviable in 2022.
The annual Tour de Yorkshire, which took place each year between 2015 and 2019, followed the success of the 2014 Tour de France’s Grand Départ in the county.
Last year, planning for the 2020 race was in the final stages with all the host towns and cities having detailed plans in place. However, due to the pandemic the race was postponed in late March 2020.
Following discussions with ASO and an assessment of the impact of lockdown and the likelihood of being able to hold the race, the 2021 race was also postponed.
During this subsequent period Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO have continued to discuss bringing the race back to Yorkshire as soon as it was to be deemed safe and viable to do so.
Welcome to Yorkshire would like to acknowledge the incredibly important and much appreciated ongoing support from their local authority partners, as well as the support of the Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis, and the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, together with ASO and British Cycling.
Welcome to Yorkshire has confirmed that its ambition to continue hosting international events is as strong as ever and this is the beginning of "a whole new positive plan to showcase Yorkshire globally through dedicating time to varied and exciting opportunities".
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive James Mason said: “This has been an intense period of back and forth discussions about the 2022 Tour de Yorkshire over many months.
"The race is a much-loved international sports event which showcases Yorkshire across the globe. So many people involved in the decision making process understand just how popular the race is.
"We had every intention for the race to go ahead but unfortunately some of the circumstances were out of our control and sometimes you have to make big calls for the right reasons.
"People from Yorkshire are proud and we only want the best for the county. We still have ambitions for large events going forward to put Yorkshire on the world stage and we will continue to work with our partners to plan for those.”
Chairman of Welcome to Yorkshire, Peter Box, said: “Whilst the news about the Tour de Yorkshire will be disappointing to hear for many, it’s important for Welcome to Yorkshire to now focus on imminent events and to continue planning for future annual campaigns, similar to 2021’s acclaimed ‘Walkshire’, promoting the whole of the county every day of the year.
"The last eighteen months have seen turbulent times for many businesses and for tourism, with financial restrictions which must be addressed and considered in all decision-making processes.
"The ongoing support of Welcome to Yorkshire’s partners across the county is gratefully acknowledged and we look forward to continuing working together going forward.
"The organisation has shown immense creativity, skill and expertise at arranging and hosting a wide-range of award-winning events in the past and it will continue to do so.”
CEO of ASO, Yann Le Moenner, said: "In 2014, Yorkshire offered the Tour de France one of the most memorable Grand Départs in its history. Hundreds of thousands of spectators came out to support the greatest riders, all of whom were taken aback by the enthusiastic support.
"Sporting success was also on the menu thanks to a route that seemed built for cycling. A strong relationship between the Tour de France and Yorkshire was born and was confirmed in the creation of a new annual event, the Tour de Yorkshire.
"For seven years now our teams have been working towards the realisation of the event, which after five editions has become a real marker in cycling's spring season.
"After two back-to-back cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic hitting in early 2020, and considering economic factors, some of which result from it, it has been decided by mutual agreement that the Tour de Yorkshire will not be organised in 2022.
"Whatever the case, the Tour de France and ASO will always remain close to Yorkshire because of the fantastic Grand Départ in 2014 and five successful editions of the Tour de Yorkshire which deserve a follow-up.”
British Cycling chief executive Brian Facer said: “Clearly this is very disappointing news for everyone who recognises the value the Tour de Yorkshire brings to the county and to cycling in Britain.
"This is not just about the economic boost that top level bike racing has brought to Yorkshire, but also in the huge numbers of people who have been inspired to cycle themselves.
"The local authorities in Yorkshire have done a fantastic job over recent years and deserve credit for trying to find a way forward. We will continue to work with Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO to secure major cycling events in the future.
"In the meantime, we know that Yorkshire remains passionate about cycling and we are working every day with our colleagues and partners to provide more opportunities for people from communities across the county to get on their bikes.”